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Orpheum Children's Science Museum

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Address: 346 N. Neil, Champaign, Champaign-Urbana, IL
Phone Number: 217.352.5895
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed now
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Tue - Fri 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sat - Sun 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Description: Serving some 17,000 visitors annually, the OSCM is a regional, non-profit...
Serving some 17,000 visitors annually, the OSCM is a regional, non-profit, organization that is committed to scientific literacy, encouraging learning and imagination through play and experimentation. Located in downtown Champaign, the Museum's 9400 square feet are made up of more than 20 hands-on, discovery-based exhibits that reveal fundamentals in mechanics, navigation, anatomy, hydrology, paleontology, and more as well as a newly restored theater. Its theater is an historic community treasure that the Museum is actively engaged in restoring to accommodate local youth performance communities and traveling children's science exhibits. We serve local schools, providing field trips aligned with Illinois State Science curriculum standards. Additionally, we provide camps, clubs, special events, after school, and weekend programs on a variety of topics. -History- Established in 1994. The Orpheum Theatre opened in 1914 as part of vaudeville's legendary Orpheum Circuit, staging performances by the likes of Will Rogers and Harry Houdini. Its interior featured a breathtaking model of the Versailles Opera House. But by 1989 the theater had been abandoned, forgotten until it was purchased as a site for a parking deck. Then the community began a preservation effort. So began a non-profit community center that provides hands-on, discovery-based science & art programs regardless of income. We have rehabbed the lobby to house exhibits, serving some 17,000 annually. But the theater remains unoccupied, awaiting completion. The Orpheum raised $500K, rehabbed the structural damage, and restored the ceiling and walls. It has engaged patrons to retrofit the space with an energy efficient geothermal system and is on the threshold of opening the 7500 sq ft space for community performances.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 14 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1
  • 4
    Very good
  • 7
  • 1
  • 1
Kids learn about science at this small museum.

On our last trip to the Champaign-Urbana area, my entire family visited the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum and we had a good time. We dropped by on a Sunday afternoon about 10... read more

3 of 5 starsReviewed January 26, 2015
Amanda O
Elgin, Illinois, United States
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14 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Elgin, Illinois, United States
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015

On our last trip to the Champaign-Urbana area, my entire family visited the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum and we had a good time. We dropped by on a Sunday afternoon about 10 minutes before the museum officially opened at noon. A birthday party was just wrapping up while we waited for opening time. It’s obvious that the museum used to... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2015

Came here with my 4 year old son. Wasn't expecting much based on the size of the building and the admission. I have to say, my son was very happy to be there. He mostly wanted to do larger exhibits such as the water table and boat/castle. He didn't want to do the science stations that much. But once he... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Addison, Texas
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2014 via mobile

We were here on a weekend when they had special events which were really fun. However, I think if you just went when there weren't special things, it might be a short visit.

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Toledo, Ohio
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
21 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

A very small but perfectly darling Science Museum for Children. I took my grandsons, ages 9 and 4 1/2 there while visiting my daughter who is attending the college. They loved it though it seemed to be geared more for the younger children. There was also a really nice huge sandbox, play area outside which we did not really get... More 

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OrpheumKids, Front Office Manager at Orpheum Children's Science Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting! I'm glad you guys had a fun time and we would love to see your family again! Sorry you were unable to visit the courtyard it will be opening again in the spring when the weather gets a little nicer and hopefully you won't get rained out a second time! More 

Urbana, Illinois
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
5 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014

Great find for kids of all ages. We had a loo around after attending a SOCHA concert in the theatre, we went to see our friend Ricardo Herrera, Opera Singer, Sing. There are some fantastic activities for kids of all ages in the Science Museum It even has a small store to purchase things, be wary the prices are quite... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Maroa, Illinois
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

We did not visit in Apr 2013, but the site forces me to choose a date. I am unable to review the museum, but was in the building many times when it was a theater. It was a lovely old theater, although when Earthquake showed there we thought the walls might come tumbling down when the building shook.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Lisbon, Portugal
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
54 attraction reviews
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

This museum is filled with fun stuff in a really great space. It is small but they have packed as much as possible into the space without overcrowding it. My 7yr old and 2 yr old are both content to spend a couple hours there...and I love that there are age appropriate exhibits for both of them! Neither is ever... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Champaign, IL
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

A lot of the "exhibits" were broken. Not very educational at all. My biggest problem with the Orpheum is that it is DIRTY. You can literally see the dirt and grime. They really are being generous by calling themselves a 'children's museum.'

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

My 5-year-old, husband and I had a nice time at the Orpheum. It's small and not very science-oriented (though they're trying), but there was plenty to do. There's a water table where you can move the paddles and learn about flow. We (my husband and I included) spent most of the time upstairs playing with the magnetic shapes and leggos.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
central illinois
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

Smaller than what I thought it would be. Kids had fun. Better for younger kids, maybe 2 - 5. It was ok for the price.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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